The Forgotten Bride Ch. 03bylostandfounder©
She awoke in a cold sea of deep crimson velvet. The room before her was an unlit abyss, and yet she could see everything with level of detail that made her uncomfortable. From the fading amber of the paint on the walls to the fine cracks in the tile on the ceiling to the whisper of dust on the floor, the minutia seemed to scream out at her. She pulled the blanket over her head and tried to force herself into slumber. She knew she couldn't. She was yet too young and sleep was still a demand. When the sun rose up from its cold grave of earth, she was compelled to sleep. When it returned under the horizon, she had no choice but to wake. Not that it really mattered. Sleep was no longer a comfort. It brought only the hideous dreams of freedom and joy.
She felt motion from the form that lay beside her and the soft sound of silk sliding across velvet and flesh.
A quiet voice came from the darkness. "Oh god... what have I done...." What used to be a young woman tore the blankets away and ran to the bathroom. The scent of vomit and blood came wafting through the door and was soon followed by the sounds of sobbing.
"What have I done? Oh god...oh god..."
Rising from the bed she drifted to the bathroom where she found the young woman on floor in pool filth. Her face bore the deep gashes of her own fingernails and her eyes were now little more than bloody pits. The ragged from whimpered once before the body went still.
A tiny sigh escaped her lips as Katie picked up the corpse and placed it in the bathtub. The roaches and rats quickly appeared. Katie knelt and ran her fingers through the corpse's soft hair as the vermin danced and feasted. She heard the door open and the soft sound of familiar feet draw near. She looked up to the doorway.
Dania stood wearing her hollow smile. "Lost another one?"
"I don't see the difference." Katie said as the two walked out of her building and into the street.
"That's why you can't keep them." Dania replied. "You still don't know what it is you lost when I brought you over. To be honest, I am quite amazed at your obtuseness. Most learn fairly quickly what life means after they lose theirs.
"You know, you say stuff like that a lot. I'm beginning to think that you are trying to tell me something."
Dania's eyes almost seemed to warm as they slid a sidelong glance over Katie. "I never have to muse long over why I keep you." She shook her head. "Still, after five years, I would have expected you to at least begin to understand."
Katie stopped dead in her tracks. "Five years? Impossible... it can't have been more than a year... two at the very most."
"I've told you my dear; time has little meaning for us. Remember back to what I taught you those first few days after you turned....
...You are still an infant and a slave to the cycle of night and day. Even if you could stave off the slumber, the sun will kill you. Once you get older, you will start to develop a tolerance, after fifty years you should be able to walk outside on a cloudy day, after a hundred, you may even be able to withstand a clear dawn. Never forget, no matter how old you get, the sun will weaken you. Even the eldest are as frail as the cattle in it, stay in the night as much as you can.
Your reflection... the image others see now is an illusion. You will cast a reflection that others can see, but you will not see your own. You would see yourself as you truly are, a walking corpse, bloated with the blood of your victims.
Your senses are more acute, far too much so actually. Detail will overwhelm you. There are many who cannot cope with the new flood of sensation and descend into forms of madness. Obsessive compulsion, extreme reclusion; some have literally ended from it. The only time it shall abate is when you feed. In those moments, all you will know is the kill. It is the only respite we have.
Your strength and speed and stamina are all greatly increased, but it is your glamour that will be your best weapon. You will be able to envelope yourself in anything from a radiance of lust and desire to a cloak of malevolent terror. Learn to use these well and you will be nearly untouchable.
Life feeds on death, and death feeds on life. It is the circle...
They walked on in silence to a cold and windswept beach. What moonlight managed to push through the layer of clouds cast a tired reflection on the waves that slapped against the shoreline. Dania cast her gaze to a small nest of shrubs and pointed at the shadow that shivered at the center.
Katie looked down on the form. She could see the years in him. A man of no more than twenty, his face still had the tint of youth in it, but was aged beyond its years by abuse and self-loathing.
"We pick him because he wasted his life?"
Dania gave her a bemused smile. "We pick him because he will not be missed."
"But... I mean, couldn't we pick someone who deserves it?"
The smile slid away as Dania ran a finger down the side of Katie's face. "We all deserve it."
Katie paused for second and then asked "Did you choose me because I wouldn't be missed?"
"My dear girl, I have told why I chose you. You were already lost. You were looking for what it meant to be alive. In time you will realize that I given you the perspective you needed. When you realize what life is, I will feel it as well. It is in that moment, we will be as close to life as we can be."
"And after that?"
Dania looked away and said nothing. She walked over to the youth, and in that moment, her glamour was as great as Katie had ever seen. She seemed to glow with an aura of carnal passion. Even in his stupor, the young man's eyes opened wide at the vision before him. Dania said nothing. She merely picked up him up by the shoulders and set him on his feet. He staggered but somehow managed to keep standing. Katie could see the knowledge of what was to come gathering within him. He knew, but he didn't care...or worse, it was what he wanted. His hips thrust forward with wanton lust, but Dania kept them at bay with ease. Her fangs tore into the emaciated form of his neck with a brutality that Dania had rarely witnessed, even from her mistress. He drew in a deep shuddering breath and held it as his eyes rolled back in their sockets. There was one last feeble twitch before he went still as his life quickly left the body.
Dania sliced her fangs across his throat and tossed the body aside. She wiped the blood from her face with a gasp. "Oh yes... sometimes it feels so good to go slumming for a rough one." She looked over a Katie with a dull flame deep in her eyes. "My dear, I do believe I am in the mood for something a little more subtle now." Her hands slithered around Katie's waist and drew her close. Traces of blood still warm on her lips, she kissed Katie with a slow and deep passion.
Katie felt her knees buckle and knew that Dania would not be denied. She managed to force herself to stop long enough to gasp. "Please, not here, let's go back to your place."
"Still uncomfortable out in the open?" Dania smiled and ripped the front of Katie's blouse off. "Very well, we shall back, but you cannot cover yourself."
"Because you must learn that your old values are meaningless now. Modesty is something that should have died with your body. It's strange that you still have some. Much about you is strange...." Dania looked thoughtful for a moment and then shrugged. "If nothing else, you will do it because you are my spawn and I will you to do it."
The duo began the walk back through the dirty streets. A gang of thugs soon walked by and took quick notice of Katie's state. The leader gave her a once over and smiled. "Hey baby, nice tits. How much you charge for a blow?"
Katie's eyes blackened and all the space around her seemed to shift and pull in. Her lips moved, but her voice came from outside of her body. "More than you can afford."
The gang lord took a step back and raised his hands in front of him. He stammered and swallowed, "Uh, y-yeah, sure thing." The entire gang backed away and let the pair pass without a further sound.
"You are getting so much better at that my dear." Dania smiled as they walked away.
With every step forward, Katie felt the passion rise within her, slowly filling her beyond the point of lucidity and she hated it. She knew it was a mockery of what she once felt. It wasn't love; it wasn't even lust, but it was all that was left and there was only way it could be expressed. By the time they reached the apartment, shape and form had lost all meaning. All her vision was cloaked in a faded crimson and she could taste the scent of Dania's musk mixed with blood. When the door was closed behind her, clothes were quickly cast off and scattered across the room. Dania slammed Katie into the wall and pinned her there with a deep and wanton kiss. Katie ran a finger softly down Dania's neck. She loved the contrast of the brutal and the gentle; it was an obscenity that fed her passion even more.
"I thought you wanted something a little more subtle?" Katie whispered as Dania's lips and teeth drew trails across her the flesh of her chest.
Dania's fingers ran down the small of Katie's back and pulled her body tight to her own. "Forgive me, my love. I lost myself in the moment." She smiled and firmly rubbed her torso against Katie's. "It's such an easy thing to do when I'm with you." She pulled Katie's hair slowly but firmly and ran the tip of her tongue up Katie's neck to her chin. "Now, no more words from you, understood?"
The two had played this game enough that Katie knew saying 'yes' would bring a fierce response. She simply nodded and Dania brought her hands across the back of Katie's thighs. Her fingertips were like hot steel that left cool rivers in their wake. One of Katie's hands moved up into her own hair and the other touched her lips as Dania's hands slowly kneaded the flesh of her thighs while her lips and tongue teased at her nipples. Without warning, sharp teeth came down and sent a bolt of lighting through her body. Dania kissed Katie on the lips, picked her up, and carried her over the bed where the two fell, never breaking their embrace.
Dania let the smoothness of her fingernail trace spirals over Katie's body as Katie kissed at Dania's neck and chin. Dania rubbed her moist center up and down Katie's thigh, while rubbing against Katie with her own. It didn't take long for Katie to gasp as a wave of warm pleasure shot through her entire being.
"Oh yes, now do me" Whispered Dania. She rolled on her back and spread her legs. Katie, still dizzy from the rush, got between her legs and ran a finger on either side of Dania's flushed mound and down to her waiting opening. She traced around the wet orifice several times before slipping two fingers slowly and deeply inside. Dania let out a slow moan as Katie worked a thumb over her clit while her fingers slid back and forth in perfect timing. Dania's hips began move up and down with each stroke as Katie began to slowly increase her pace. In and out, up and down, the two women moved like one single animal for time that seemed to have no end or meaning. Katie felt the inner walls begin to tighten and Dania's face and body seemed to lose all control. Dania gave one final push forward with her hips. "Kiss me!" she gasped. Katie did so, and the two held each other close as the night seemed to slip away.
After a time, Katie sighed. "I know this will sound strange, but I always feel so clean after. It makes me feel like I've been saved or something... it's so wonderful."
Dania stretched out and sat up in the bed. "Salvation?" she mused. "I suppose it's the closest we will ever get to it." She shook her head. "It's so rare to hear one of our kind speaking of salvation. You almost sounded like Janos for a moment."
Katie sat up and placed her head on Dania's shoulder. "Who's Janos?"
Dania softly pulled Katie's head down into her lap and ran her fingers through her hair. "Long ago there was a vampire who called himself Janos. He was brutal, vain and arrogant, even by our lofty standards. For many years, wherever he went, blood and terror followed. Then one night he came upon a secluded nunnery, always a favorite target of his. Something happened to him there, no one is sure exactly what, but Janos came out changed. He decided from that moment he would devote himself to the 'Will of God'. He would atone for his sins. He began to wear a crucifix and he would anoint himself with holy water to try to purge his sin from him."
"Didn't that hurt him?" Katie asked.
"Oh yes. His body was soon covered in scars. He took the pain and reveled in it. He said that it was bringing him closer to salvation and closer to God. It was his penance, his sacrifice." Dania smiled. "All Gods demand a sacrifice you know. Janos did what all do, he put forth the thing that mattered most to him, and therefore must matter most to God. He sacrificed his beauty to prove his sincerity. He soon found that all the ritual still could not quell the bloodlust, so he vowed to only prey upon those dubbed 'wicked'. Adulterers, idolaters and blasphemers. Murderers, rapists and thieves. He started to speak of the redemption of our kind and gained a following amongst some of the others..." Dania spat the words out. "The fools..."
Katie looked up, "You don't think we can be saved?"
Dania didn't meet Katie's gaze. "How can you save a corpse?"
Katie started to say something, but Dania put a finger to her lips. "Shhh. No more talk, my pet. There is still night left and I wish to flaunt the scent of our fornication. Let us take another walk before the sun rises."
The two found themselves walking down the streets that still teemed with life, even at the late hour.
Katie noticed a young woman, who was aged beyond her years standing in a doorway. Ever now and again she would steal a glance at the two, but quickly look away when she felt their gaze upon her. Dania smiled, "Witness the cage that she is in. She is awash in the musk of a dozen men. A whore who has likely been abused by every man she has ever known. She looks at us and wonders 'Would it be any better?', but she cannot take that step."
Katie nodded "Because she thinks it would be wrong."
"No my sweet, she gave up on that concept long ago. For her, right is what gets her through the week and wrong is what has been done her. She is afraid. She is afraid that if she breaks out of her prison she will find that the land outside is even worse."
Katie stared at the girl. A flush came to her cheeks and she looked in every direction but Katie's. "There is something about her..." Katie mused. "I think she could find a way out with a little help."
Dania gave Katie a contemptuous look. "Don't be naive. We are all slaves to our wants and prisoners of our fears." She pointed at an old man getting out of his car. "Smell that metallic tang from him? It's one of those drugs that allow him to fornicate. That's the smell of fear and want. Fear of age and carnal want. He thinks by fucking his wife or mistress or whore that he somehow retains his youth. In the end, will it hold off death?"
Katie shook her head, "I doubt he thinks he will live forever. He just wants to enjoy the time he does have."
"Enjoy?" Dania laughed, "He doesn't care if he enjoys it or not. Don't you see? He is a slave. When it is over, he will simply want it again. He fears each time will be his last and that moment will never come again."
"The purpose of life is to enjoy it. I don't see anything wrong with that."
"The purpose of life? The purpose of life is to die."
"That's rather cynical."
"Is it?" Dania paused and looked down at a small flower that through some miracle had taken root and was growing out of a crack in the street. "Some things suffer. Some things rejoice. Some things live short lives, some live long." She stood and crushed the flower under the heel of her boot. "The only thing all life does is end."
Katie looked at the flower. "I know how that feels."
The words seemed to hit Dania like a hammer. For a fleeting moment Katie though she actually saw confusion in her face, but it was soon lost in a cloud of anger "Oh please, you think you actually know what it means to suffer? There are millions of people on this fading planet that are literally killing themselves trying to find the place where you are, a place without soul, without the feelings of regret and guilt." Her face twisted and warped into a snarl. "You pathetic little wench, don't you try to tell me that you know about hurt! I've been in this stillborn existence for longer than you can imagine! You sit and prattle on about pain and suffering when you don't know what it means! I've seen...." She closed her eyes. The brutal look dropped from her face and her voice regained its usual composure. "I've seen what it means to be decadent and what it means to be hopeless." Her eyes opened and regarded Katie an icy stare. "Don't you ever again dare to lecture me on suffering."
Katie was very quiet for a moment and then looked Dania in her eyes. "You still think of them as people?"
Dania's eyes narrowed. "What?"
"People. That's what you called them. You said there were millions of people trying to be like us. That's the first time I've heard you call them people."
"Don't read too much into a simple slip of the tongue." Dania sighed. "What am I ever going to do with you?"
Katie smiled. "I am special."
"Indeed, and it is beginning to trouble me." Dania looked to the horizon. "Come my pet, daylight is fast approaching. Let us take our leave of the cattle and see if we can't find any respite in Hypnos's realm tonight."